Tyra Wanted Bi-Co Students On Her Show, Student Council Didn’t

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

This article, by Haverford student Robin Riskin, originally appeared in The Bi-Co News.

The state police raid of Lloyd Around the World made Haverford headlines, and the bi-college community was not the only one reading them.

A week after the September 4 incident, the Tyra Banks Show sent an e-mail to Bi-College News Managing Editor Michael Novinson ’10. The Associate Producer, Leanne Mucci, said she had read his article about the students who were cited at Lloyd for underage drinking, and she “would love to talk to them about possibly appearing on the show.”

Deciding it was Student Council’s jurisdiction to inform the students, Novinson forwarded the e-mail to SC Co-Presidents Will Harrison ’10 and Harrison Haas ’10, and responded to Mucci the next day with Harrison and Haas’s contact information.

Will Harrison and Harrison Haas didn’t contact the students at first because they said they were too busy. However, the SC Executive Council decided at Wednesday’s meeting not to inform the cited students at all.

“The Council felt that the show wouldn’t have the best interest of the students or the college in mind,” Will Harrison said.

Harrison Haas added that they thought the information was “not worth bothering passing along.”

Executive Council’s discussion of the Tyra Show was initially not included in the minutes. Co-Secretary Sydney Keough ’11, who was in charge of the minutes, said it was an “unintentional oversight.” As of 11:45 p.m. Sunday, no information about Tyra’s invitation had been included in the minutes.

The Bi-Co had been waiting for Students’ Council to contact the cited students, but after Executive Council decided not to, Novinson and Editor-in-Chief Alex Stratyner BMC ’11 decided the newspaper should take the task upon itself. This reporter informed the students she knew of who had been cited: 21 out of 27 from Haverford, and none of the four from Bryn Mawr.

Meanwhile, Mucci said it was too late for the cited students to appear on the intended show. After two weeks, the show had already been filmed. However, Mucci said the cited students should still contact her, because there is a possibility they could be featured in a later show.

The intended episode was a feature on Facebook. The Lloyd incident fit in because the police had investigated the Facebook event, which advertised drinking and listed underage students as attending.

Since the show has not aired yet (it will probably air sometime in October), Mucci could not release much more information. All she said was that the show covers “just about everything” on Facebook, and gave ruined friendships as an example.

As for the cited students, most were shocked or excited by the news; some had already heard rumors. One anonymous junior asked if it was a joke.

Nine of the 21 were very interested and said they probably would do the show — especially if they go on as a group, and if it happens once the hearing, set for October 28, is over.

A sophomore who wished to remain anonymous said he would do the show, “no questions asked,” if it happens after the hearing. He guessed Tyra would probably not be sympathetic toward them, but he would do it anyway.

An anonymous sophomore who was cited with disorderly conduct said, “That’d be sweet. It’d be really cool too if she paid for all the costs of the legal stuff.”

However, he agreed, “It would have to be after the legal process. Cause I wouldn’t wanna piss off any judges. And I wouldn’t wanna miss a week of school for it or anything.”

Others, meanwhile, do not want to draw more attention to themselves or their citations. Seven said they definitely would not go on the show.

An anonymous freshman said, “I don’t want any publicity about this… It’s not worth screwing up your future career.”

An anonymous sophomore was concerned about the spin the show would put on the story.

“I’m not necessarily sure that they’re most interested in what I’m interested in,” he said.

An anonymous freshman who probably would not go on the show said, “If it would give me an opportunity to blast the police in a public forum, that would be good, but I don’t want that much public attention.”

Without much information, there are plenty who have not decided yet.

An anonymous sophomore said, “It’s probably not a good idea to draw a lot of attention to [the citation], considering a lot of us are going to have court dates. But it’s an interesting opportunity, it’s not everyday that something like this happens.”

Many of the cited students said they were not offended that Executive Council decided not to contact them, but others disagree.

“It feels that it goes against what they’ve been saying, that they want more transparency,” said the anonymous junior. “I’m sure their motives are valid, but it doesn’t seem very open to me.”

Harrison Haas defended SC’s decision.

“They wanted to get students on the show to talk about underage drinking and the police presence there,” he said. “I can’t think of a way that would reflect well on Haverford or the students themselves, no matter how well the students behaved at the scene, no matter how many nice things the officers said about the students. We weren’t going out of our way to hide it, it just didn’t seem worthwhile to pass it on.”

Harrison Haas was not sure he fully agreed with the decision, though he did not feel strongly enough to stand outside consensus. He said that if the Tyra Show were “really interested” in reaching the students, they could go through the school’s formal channels, such as the Communications Office.

“To be perfectly honest, we don’t even have a list of all the affected students,” he said. “In order to communicate it, we would have to pass it through the college,” he said.

Interested students can obtain contact information for the Tyra Banks Show by e-mailing biconews@gmail.com. Whether or not they end up on TV is in the hands of the individual students, the head honchos at the show and Tyra herself.

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